Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

Hamilton: Ferrari’s straight-line focus may hurt them after Baku

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton beleives Ferrari’s straight-line speed will make them competitive in this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

However the Mercedes driver suspects their rivals will not be as strong at some of the subsequent races.

“They were quick on the straights,” said Hamilton following his win in the Chinese Grand Prix, “they were gaining four-tenths I think it was on the straights overall but they’re losing in the corners.

“So I think it’ll be interesting to see how long they’re going to keep that strategy. Some places it will be great, like probably the next race is going to be pretty good for them in that respect. But then in others maybe not so much.”

After this weekend’s race at the high-speed Baku City Circuit the championship moves on to the Circuit de Catalunya, which is mostly medium and high-speed corners, followed by the tight and slow Monaco street circuit.

Although Mercedes have swept the top two places in all three races so far, Hamilton says the competition is close and the relative form of the leading cars is hard to read.

“We’ve got another close battle on our hands,” he said. “Red Bull, I don’t know where they were [in China] but I know Ferrari’s been right there. I think we’ve got races coming up that could potentially suit them more, who knows.

“We didn’t expect [them] to have the deficit in Australia and we didn’t expect to have the deficit in [Bahrain] and we didn’t expect this weekend to have the bit of the margin we had [in China]. It’s still up in the air.

“I think ultimately as a team we’ve performed collectively together, we’ve really delivered on the weekends so we’ve just got to continue to do so.”

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Dieter Rencken
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15 comments on “Hamilton: Ferrari’s straight-line focus may hurt them after Baku”

  1. Post Baku: I’m quite surprised by their performance in the turns. It’s going to be really close in Barcelona.

  2. Here we go again.

  3. Maybe Ferrari should just heed LH’s predictions and thank him for the heads up.

  4. This race is kind of a must win for Ferrari. If they dont win or a close second in Baku then they clearly have problems (struggling with setup, tyres, front wing aero…etc).

    Mercedes have maximized the weekends so far but doesn’t mean they dont have their problems as well.
    Its still unclear which aero philosophy is the best and have more room for development. Ferrari or Mercedes.
    Mercedes was rumoured to be developing Ferrari-style front wing maybe ready in time for Spanish GP.

  5. Took them awhile this time.

    4 tenths on the straights? Surely that’s not right, is it?

    1. Judging by my experiences from simracing, thats very possible but if they are only gaining on straights and losing in turns, its the classic case of running lower downforce, not the case of having so much more powerful engine as mercs kept saying for some reason.. Opposide case of what McLaren did with Honda, they were running high downforce to “be the fastest car in turns” but were losing out so badly on straights, they knew it but they needed someone to point at…

      1. Melchior (@)
        24th April 2019, 8:05

        If Lewis and Toto say it’s so,then it has to be true ;) lol

  6. I believe Mercedes has the overall fast car and confident on the engine.
    Is this what Andy Cowell said some time last year about AMG achieving 50% thermal efficiency ?

  7. Here we go again. Lol

    1. Lewis says Ferrari will be faster: Lewis mind games.
      Lewis says Ferrari will be slower: Lewis mind games.
      Lewis says something non-committal: Lewis is a Mercedes corporate drone with no personality.
      Lewis says nothing: look at his tattoos!

  8. Yes I can see how well Ferrari’s straight line speed is working for them in the first 3 races. Remind me again how many of those they won?

    Ferrari have to win this weekend – otherwise the season is not looking great.

    Thankfully I get some pleasure out of the midfield battle as it’s reasonably close.

    1. Yeah… it really hasn’t panned out for them so far. The funny thing is in pre season testing, there was a lot of talk about how quick and stable Ferrari looked in the corners, which got completely changed to their straight line speed and power once they reached Bahrain. Maybe it’s some poor setup decisions that have put them in this mess? Can’t say for sure to be honest.

      Still… I’d expect Ferrari to be quick here and have a shot at a 1-2 on Sunday …. unless they screw it up again by asking the quicker driver to finish behind the slower driver.

    2. Hamilton merely stated that the Ferrari straight line speed may be an advantage. The Ferrari looks quicker is a straight line but Merc definitely have an advantage in the twisty bits. IMHO Ferrari’s biggest problem is on the pit wall.

  9. With air temps hanging around 18C for the weekend, its going to be interesting how well the cars put loads through tyres to keep them in operating window. That long straight is going to pain in rearside for the cars which are kinder on its tyres. Lets wait for sunday to see how well top 3 teams cope with this unusual track.

  10. Ferrari’s Top speed focus has already hurt them in the first few races. And will hurt them throughout the season.

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